Library’s book mountain gone before lunchtime
‘‘No-one expected to have all the books here this early. ’’
Shifting 15,000 books from a redstickered library can be done surprisingly quickly, a librarian says.
Starting about 8:30am on April 17, library staff and movers had several truckloads of tomes safely housed by lunchtime at Upper Hutt’s temporary pop-up library on the first floor of the CBD Towers.
Upper Hutt’s Central Library building was closed to the public on February 7 – assessed as an earthquake risk.
Upper Hutt City Libraries manager Marion Read said the speed of the move from the building on Fergusson Drive was impressive.
‘‘No-one expected to have all the books here this early. I think even the movers were surprised.’’
The setting up of shelving and furniture in the new space began last week.
The books represented about one third of the library’s total collection and were a mix of mostly new arrivals, childrens’ books, and popular authors and titles.
The rest of the collection would remain in the old building and books were available upon request – staff would have to don a hard hat and hi-visibility vest to retrieve them.
Read said it would be a relief to have a new space for the public to access the library’s collection and services once the pop-up site opens on April 26.
‘‘[A library] is a focal point to the community. It’s good to offer a library service to our customers. Obviously its not our full collection but I believe our customers are looking forward to having a space to come to.’’
The Pinehaven and the Mobile libraries, which have extended their hours in the absence of the Central Library, will resume normal hours and services once the pop-up site opens.
Upper Hutt City Council director of community services Mike Ryan said the council was working with contractors, engineers and the building’s architects to develop a remedial plan for the building.
A council spokesman said a seismic assessment had identified ‘‘critical’’ structural weakness in the fixings between the walls and roofing. Extra strengthening was needed to prevent ‘‘wall uplift or displacement’’ in an earthquake.
Geoff Swainson, the council’s director of asset management and operations, said they planned to have remedial work completed by the end of the year.
Upper Hutt City Council libraries manager Marion Read said it was great to have services back up and running for customers.